Large solar farm plan for south Warwickshire is rejected

Villagers in south Warwickshire have won their battle to prevent a 45,000-panel solar farm from being built near their homes.

Plans for a solar farm near Harbury have been refused.
Plans for a solar farm near Harbury have been refused.

Despite advice to the contrary from their own planning experts, councillors at Stratford District Council on Tuesday refused to give their consent to the plan - put forward by Solar Power South Ltd - to build a solar farm on farmland in Deppers Bridge near Harbury.

The company had said the farm would offset around 1,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and serve the total power needs of around 2,000 homes - and up to 6,000 at peak performance.

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In its application, the firm stated: “We have worked with the community as much as possible throughout the application process, despite in some cases relatively hostile local receptions. As a result, the proposals have been amended significantly to address local concerns.”

The company had also promised to provide Harbury parish council with £225,000 to spend on ‘community benefits’.

But the plan faced widespread opposition, with formal objections sent in from the parish councils of Harbury, Ladbroke and Bishops Itchington, as well as district councillors Richard Hamburger and Chris Williams and 30 other people who sent in letters of objection.

Among the opinions put forward by objectors were that it was unlikely that after the farm’s operational period of 25 years, the land would still be suitable for food production; that the panels would be a blight on the landscape; and that the public consultation exercises run by Solar Power South Ltd were inadequate.